Driver / Operator Certification Program

Driver / Operator Responsibilities

The fire apparatus driver / operator is responsible for the safe transportation of firefighters, the fire apparatus, and all its fire equipment. The driver / operator is responsible for observing state laws, city ordinances, department rules, and operational procedures that govern the operation of the fire apparatus. This responsibility exists at all times, especially while responding to requests for emergency service such as medical emergencies or structure fires. These types of requests require the use of emergency lights and sirens while navigating the community's roadways. The driver / operator must possess a heightened level of awareness, judgment, and due regard for other vehicles while trying to arrive at the scene of an emergency in an expeditious manner.

Legal Repercussions

The ability to safely control and maneuver fire apparatus is a critical part of the driver / operator's responsibilities. Recent legal decisions have held that a driver / operator who does not obey state, local, or departmental driving regulations can be subject to criminal and civil prosecution if the fire apparatus is involved in an accident. If the driver/ operator is negligent in the operation of an emergency vehicle and becomes involved in an accident, both the driver / operator and the City of Poway may be held responsible.

At the Scene of an Incident

The proper placement of the fire apparatus at the incident scene is another responsibility of the driver / operator. On scene, the driver / operator must operate the fire apparatus safely, swiftly, and efficiently. The driver / operator must be able to calculate hydraulic flows quickly and operate the fire pump systems effectively. The driver / operator must be able to locate and operate all the equipment carried on the fire apparatus. Keeping the fire apparatus and equipment in a constant state of readiness is another responsibility of the driver / operator.

About the Program

The Poway Fire Department has developed the Driver / Operator Certification Program to ensure personnel meet the wide array of responsibilities placed upon the driver / operator of fire apparatus. This program is designed to assist those firefighters interested in expanding their job knowledge and skills associated with the safe and effective operation of fire apparatus. It identifies the necessary job knowledge and manipulative skills required of fire apparatus driver / operators for the City of Poway. Retention of job knowledge and manipulative skills are important components of the Poway Fire Department Driver / Operator Certification Program. Annual refresher training, manipulative skills review, and performance testing will assist driver / operators to maintain a satisfactory level of knowledge and skill.

The Poway Fire Department Driver / Operator Certification Program is divided into 2 components:

  • Driver / Operator Certification
  • Driver / Operator Re-Certification